You may remember the story of Amish convert Matthew Secich of the Unity, Maine Amish community.

Secich was previously a well-known chef working in upscale restaurants, before becoming a member of the Unity community last autumn, where he lives with his wife Crystal.


Photo: Gabor Degre/Bangor Daily News

Now Secich runs Charcuterie, a store specializing in specialty meats and cheeses.

He ran into challenges earlier this year when health regulations threatened the closure of his business (including questions over his use of an ice house instead of conventional refrigeration). Happily, those issues seem to have been resolved and Charcuterie is plugging away.

The Bangor Daily News recently revisited his story with an update on the business, which along the way has gained international fame:

“It’s been a really great year,” Crystal Secich said. “We feel very blessed to be here. We just feel at home.”

Part of the whirlwind stemmed from a flurry of media attention that began last January. People from all over the country, and then around the world, heard about the store and were captivated by the idea of the Amish chef hand-grinding sausages by lamplight in a rural part of Maine. Matthew Secich and Charcuterie were featured in the Bangor Daily News, NPR, on public radio in Germany and in a newspaper article published in Japan, among other media outlets.

The effect on Charcuterie was immediate. It was even a little out-of-hand, the chef said.

“I could never have imagined,” Matthew Secich said. “It was mind-boggling to think you could have a business in Maine that brought people from all over the world. I feel the greatest part is the chance to make friends. … There’s so many people that come in, sit down and talk for an hour or two.”


Photo: Gabor Degre/Bangor Daily News

Commenters on the BDN story show the enthusiasm over the Seciches’ business:

Very glad. I always get a few things there when I’m in the area. While the smoked cheddar might be my favorite purchase, I can attest to the pearls of wisdom Matt’s willing to share being all the more worth the trip. A friendly, hard working couple, and they will have my patronage as long as they are open.

I assume this person means the town in Maine, not the better-known European capital, but still:

Best of luck to Mr. and Mrs. Secich. I’m going to have to make the trip from Belfast…

It always tickles me when these little Amish businesses get known across the nation or even worldwide.

Secich’s story is of course a bit more captivating than that of the average Amish food business given his unusual background. Hopefully this will continue for them in a positive direction into 2017 and beyond.

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